This page contains articles and images from various events related to the project.
About 40 people gathered at the Altavilla Irpina Club in Beulah Park on Saturday 26th October 2019. It was an occasion to remember the women who arrived in Adelaide from 1926 and were part of the Veneto market gardeners community in the Kidman Park, Flinders Park area. The first woman to arrive was Margherita Marchioro who arrived in February 1926 with her husband, Francesco, and their four-month old daughter, Mary. Connie Legovich, nee Marchioro, recalled her mother’s work after her father died in 1945.
I have been researching the women as part of my PhD studies and compiled the information and photos to share with members of the Veneto community of market gardeners. I created a series of slides with photos of each of the women and details of when they arrived in Adelaide and when they were married. As we looked at each slide family members shared memories of their mothers and the hard work – the physical and emotional work – that they undertook in establishing themselves and their families on the market gardens. Jimmy Ballestrin acknowledged that the women were the “heroines” in the families because they took care of the children, kept house and also worked in the gardens, planting, picking and grading vegetables for sale. Mandy Rossetto spoke about her nonnna, Lina Rossetto and the challenges that she faced in the early years after she arrived in 1930.
It was another opportunity to listen to the history of the Veneto market gardener community. We had a wonderful afternoon tea – thanks to the generosity of the guests and it seemed too short a time for everyone to talk.
Tea towels designed with a list of the names of the Veneto families who were on market gardens in Kidman Park and Flinders Park in the 1930s and 1940s were on sale at the gathering. The tea towels, which include a simple map of the area, are a memento of the families and their presence in the western suburbs as primary producers. They also are a reminder of the bonds between families in the Veneto market gardener community that continue today – and were evident in the gathering.Veneto women-26Oct2019-final
On Saturday 5th January 2019 a group of 60 relatives and friends of the Veneto market gardeners gathered at Mater Christi church hall, Seaton to hear Madeleine Regan present information about her research in Italy. Madeleine spent three months in the Veneto region (September to November 2018) researching the 11 pioneer families in parish and comune archives in villages where they emigrated in the 1920s. She worked in the archives at Malo, Castelcucco, Caselle di Altivole, Riese Pio X, Valla’ and Bigolino. She received assistance from the Piovesan family in Adelaide with research materials.
Madeleine was awarded a scholarship by the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies and also received a donation from the Veneto Club Inc. Adelaide for her research trip.
While she was in the Veneto region Madeleine also interviewed 12 people, mainly second generation Italian Australians. The interviews will be uploaded on the website.
At the family and friends gathering, Madeleine distributed copies of documents she had photographed in the parish and comune archives. These inlcuded records of the pioneer generation, their births and baptisms, marriages and deaths and burials.
The photos taken at the afternoon by Alex Bennett are a record of the people who attended the event.
On September 1st Madeleine Regan, Frankie Ballestrin and Johnny Marchioro gave a presentation about the Veneto market gardeners oral history project to the September Meeting of the Historical Society of South Australia at the Burnside Community Centre.
Images from the presentation
Madeleine gave a lecture about her project to the third year students in the Italian migration in Australian class at the University of Adelaide on 13 October 2016. She provided students with an overview of her project, From the Veneto to Frogmore and Findon Roads: stories of Italian market gardeners, and the steps involved in creating a community oral history project. In the presentation Madeleine included photos used with permission from families and some audio clips from interviews in which interviewees spoke about their memories of living on the market gardens, described the family home and what the area looked like in the early 1950s when there were few houses. One clip featured a man who had to report to the Army during the war to confirm that his family was growing vegetables for the Australian Army. Students were interested in the focus on oral history because it related closely to their studies and assessment task.
On Thursday 14 July 2016 Madeleine was invited to give a presentation about the project to the Veneto Club monthly luncheon for pensioners. Over 160 people attended the luncheon.
Madeleine presented with Johnny and Eleonora Marchioro. The presentation focused on the story of Vittorio and Angelina Marchioro, their marriage by proxy in 1938, 11 years after Vittorio had arrived in Adelaide. The presentation also covered their first ten years of their married life on Frogmore Road where they leased about ten acres and worked 14 glasshouses until they moved with their sons, Johnny and Romano, to White Avenue Lockleys in 1949. The presentation included photos that interviewees had given Madeleine permission to use.
Madeleine invited members of the Veneto Club to contact her if they had memories of the market gardens at Frogmore and Findon Roads. She will lcontinue to interview people particularly the sons and daughters of the ’pioneer’ market gardeners who arrived in 1926 – 1928.2016 – Veneto Club
Bar Yarns: From the Veneto to Frogmore and Findon Roads
Madeleine Regan spoke at the Lockleys Hotel about the project. The presentation included interviews with Johnny Marchioro, Frankie Ballestrin, Eleonora Marchioro and Armida Mattiazzo. Johnny and Frankie are sons of two of the ‘pioneer’market gardeners who arrived in 1927 and farmed in the Frogmore and Findon Roads area. Over 100 people attended the presentation. An informative photographic slideshow before and after the talk was well received by all participants.
A highlight of the presentation was the three-way interview between Madeleine Regan (in English) Armida Mattiazzo (in Italian) and Eleonora Marchioro (who translated from Italian into English). Of great interest was the fact that in the late 1950s Armida leased four glasshouses and grew tomatoes and beans on Henley Beach Road, near the intersection of Tapleys Hill Road. This was the very site of the Lockelys Hotel where the event was held.
Armida had been interviewed by Eleonora Marchioro for the project in 2011. She had stayed with relatives on Frogmore Road on several occasions in the 1950s and recalls the experience in her interview. Click here for a link to the interview.
Madeleine Regan gave a talk about the Veneti market gardeners oral history project at the Adelaide Migration Museum on 3 February 2016. It was one of four talks that relate to the temporary exhibition Losing The Plot: food gardening in South Australia.
Madeleine was joined by Frank Ballestrin who spoke about his experience of growing up on his parents’ market garden on Findon Road, Flinders Park. He was involved in the market garden from childhood and took on the business after his father died.
Three interviews recorded by Madeleine Regan have been used in the exhibition as a result of her project, ‘From the Veneto to Frogmore and Findon Roads: stories of Italian market gardeners 1920s – 1970s’.
She has recorded three radio interviews and was the subject of two newspaper articles.
The following photos capture the event at the Migration Museum.
Photos courtesy of Michael Campbell.
‘Remembering market gardens on Frogmore and Findon Roads through photos’ was held during the SA History Festival 11 May 2013, at the Findon Library.
Photographs, Findon Library – May 2013
In August 2011 the Veneti community Research Group (Madeleine Regan, Frankie Ballestrin, Johnny and Eleonora Marchioro, Bruno and Graziella Piovesan organised an exhibition with funding from Multicultural SA and the City of Charles Sturt. It was held in the Findon Community Centre and over 200 people attended the event. The exhibition travelled to libraries in the City of Charles Sturt and also to the House of St Hilarion at Seaton.
In 2010 the City of Charles Sturt hosted a presentation during History week. Madeleine Regan, Frankie Ballestsrin and Bruno Piovesan gave a presentation about the market gardens on Frogmore Road in the Findon Library.